I’ll admit it.  I’m a “text-only” guy through and through.  I’m not sure if that’s just how I process information, myself, or more a consequence of my lack of artistic talents, but most of the material I put out regarding job hunting is definitely composed in unbridled paragraph form.

Luckily, though, there are quite a few other folks out there who are MUCH more adept at presenting information in an engaging visual way for those folks that prefer that style of learning.  Along these lines, I’ve faithfully collected quite a few “infographics” recently that do a great job, I think, at pointing out some of realities of the modern job market.  Here’s a sampling of some of the pieces I’ve bookmarked in recent memory for anybody who wants to browse through them for useful insights and information:

Confessions of the Recruitment Industry
Job Interviewing 101
Acing the Interview
Pros & Cons of Freelancing
Get the Salary You Want
Why is There a Gap in the Job Market
17 Must-Haves for Your LinkedIn Profile
Top 5 Reasons Recruiters Won’t Click on Your LinkedIn Profile
Meet the Robots Reading Your Resume
Interviewing Etiquette
What You’d Wish You’d Known Before Your Job Interview
Concept & Logic Behind Typical Interview Questions
The New Job Hunt
What it Takes to Land the Job You Want
Job Search Tactics & Frustrations

The caveat with these types of presentations?  You have to make sure you read them with a critical eye — remembering that just because a piece of data is made to “look pretty” doesn’t necessarily make it right!  As I reviewed the above items, in fact, I saw a ton of stuff that I thought was spot-on about the modern job market and how it functions, but also came across a number of other statistics and claims that just didn’t ring true.

For example, one of the graphics above claims that the #1 mistake candidates make in interviews is that they don’t “ask for the job” at the end of the interview.  As I’ve blogged previously, this technique actually isn’t highly recommended by many experts — at least when talking about professional jobs in the Seattle market and on the West Coast.  It often comes across as premature, aggressive, and puts too much pressure on the interviewer to immediately “make decisions” they’re not ready to make regarding the applicant.  Showing enthusiasm after a hiring conversation and inquiring about next steps?  Absolutely.  But actually asking “Did I get the job?” as this graphic implies?  A little too pushy in most cases…

So as you consume this type of job market data, whether from these or any other sources, always apply a little healthy skepticism and mentally run the data through some tough questions like: (1) How and when was this information collected?; (2) What geography did it focus on, given that different regions of the country have different norms?; (3) Does it apply only to one industry or a wide variety of them?; (4) Was it intended to only apply to certain levels of jobs and not others?; and (5) Is the data presented in an attempt to sell something, which usually suggests some bias might have crept in, intentionally or unintentionally?

Just a friendly reminder that you can’t always believe everything you read about the job market today, since there are so many different angles and opinions out there.  Still, all things being equal, I’ve got to hand it to the creators of the above graphics.  They certainly make digesting “job market data” a lot more interesting and enjoyable!